Thursday, August 16, 2007

PCLinuxOS Home Desktop Performance Tweaking

To a newbie Linux becomes little tedious, first, because it is not fully configured right after installation, and second, it is not fully loaded. PCLinuxOS, Ubuntu and Mepis address these issues to desktop users. Let's discuss how to make our wonder kid, PCLinuxOS, jump with joy within minutes after installation.

  1. Remove the unnecessary desktop features: I reduced my virtual desktops to just one. That's enough for me. Besides, I removed clipper and other icons from desktop panel. As for the big desktop I removed the wallpaper and disabled screensaver. My PCLinuxOS got some boost after these changes.
  2. Remove The Eye Candy: After a week of my linux experience with PCLinuxOS in Compiz+Beryl enabled mode, I got bored of all those glitz (I wonder why many are after those 3D features, I am sure you will also get bored of those soon after). Then removed Beryl, Compiz and all the themes (except default PCLinuxOS theme). This time I got my system respond even faster.
  3. Disable GUI Effects: I disabled the GUI effects from KDE control center. They don't give you much eye-pleasing experience, but kill much of your RAM.
  4. Comment out unnecessary things from init: I edited /etc/innittab. Removed runlevels 2, 3 and 4. Now I have only 1, 5 and 6. Also, I removed all the gettys.
  5. Disable Unnecessary Services: Remove all those unnecessary services like nfs, atd, anacron, apmd (if your system is acpi capable), numlock. Choose which of the services you don't need and then remove/disable them.
  6. Remove unnecessary packages, programs and modules: I am using a desktop, I don't need those laptop features. So, I searched for laptop in the synaptic and removed them (cross-check for dependencies while removing any package inside synaptic, you might remove some important apps). I don't use any modem, firmware, printer, and my system is used only for home desktop purpose, it's not a server. Hence, I carefully removed all those stuff.
  7. Load PClinuxOS with proprietary stuff: I installed ntfs-3g, libdvdcss2, unrar and rar, win32codecs, realplayer, wordnet, xmms with wma codecs, antiword, vobcopy, xvidcap, vlc and avidemux. Now I feel my system is fully loaded. With these packages included to your PCLinuxOS, you will never need Windows XP in another partition of your hard drive.

If, after the above tweaks you found your system still unresponsive or slow, or you get a hissing sound from cpu fan, it's high time you cleaned your system hardware. The problem lies there.


John said...

This is an excellent article, and I very much share your love for PCLOS 2007.

Unlike you however I am not really a computer expert, and so I am blind as to what all these softwares do :

unrar, rar, win32codecs, ntfs-3g, xvidcap, xmms with wma codecs, libdvdcss, pdfedit, wordnet, realplayer, avidemux, antiword, Vobcopy and VLC.

If you don't have time to write a lengthier explanation (rather than just one sentence description for each software) of what they do and how to use them, I'd really appreciate it if you could point us to some other websites where perhaps this point is discussed in details.


manmath sahu said...

Let me explain those applications and why you need them.

1. unrar and rar - these two make a winrar equivalant in linux platform - you need them to extract the *.rar files and to archive files/directories into rar archive.

to decompress and extract a rar file issue the following commands:
unrar e file.rar (where file.rar is your rar file)

2. win32codecs - this package contains all the codecs that one gets in windows xp - you need them to play all those windows media files in linux.

just install win32codecs. media player programs share these codecs, you don't need to do anything else except watching your favourite video and audio.

3. ntfs-3g - it's a program that enables read/write support - you need to install this package if you want to copy/cut/paste files in the widows ntfs partitions.

you don't need to issue any commands. after installation run ntfs-3g once and enable ntfs read/write.

4. xvidcap - it is a screen video capture program - with this file you can record all the desktop activities in a video file,

for example, you can use xvidcap record a training module and send the recorded video file to anybody.

run xvidcap and experience what it does.

5. xmms with wma - actually the program is xmms, a winamp lookalike and very light music player for linux, xmms-wma is the plugin that plays wma files in xmms - you need to play mp3, ogg and wma files fast and easy way.

click on the xmms icon or alternatively run xmms

6. libdvdcss - it's a video dvd decrypter - you can play copy protected video dvds in linux.

you don't need to do anything after its installation.

7. pdfedit - as simple as the name, with this program you can edit pdf documents.

8. wordnet - it's word look-up program, very much similar to wordweb - you need this like the way you need webster dictionary or oxford dictionary.

9. realplayer - it's realmedia player - you need this play rm, rma, ram and rmvb media files.

10. avidemux - it's a small video editing program, similar to virtualdub in windows - you need this to convert and/or compress video files.

11. antiword - its ms word decoder program - you can view *.doc files inside linux text terminal.

issue the commands: antiword file.doc
also check : man antiword
and look for the available options

12. vobcopy - it's a dvd video copy program - you need this to copy video dvds onto your hard drive. it copies lossless videos.

just issue command:


and the full video dvd will be copied very soon.

Anonymous said...

You make your pclinuxos run on very low footprint if you remove unnecessary icon packs and symlinks.

manmath sahu said...

You also also customize swap usage to enhance performance.

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